The Power Of Scent In Boosting Workplace Performance &Raquo; Screenshot+2024 04 01+At+6.01.03%E2%80%Afam

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Walking into a clean, airy workplace isn’t just a breath of fresh air—it’s like a fresh start. People dig that crisp feeling because it clears the mind, making tackling even the most challenging tasks easier. But what if we could take it up a level? Imagine if certain scents could rev up your focus and productivity. It turns out they can! 


How Scents Play Tricks on Your Brain


Scents have a direct hotline to our brains, especially the parts controlling our emotions and memories. This isn’t just fancy talk–it’s science. When you catch a whiff of something, it doesn’t just stop at your nose. It zips straight to your brain, stirring feelings and altering your mood. So, it stands to reason that the right smells could help switch on your ‘game mode’ at work. It’s about finding those scents that make your brain go, “Alright, let’s get down to business.”


The A-Listers of Productivity Scents


Take lemon, for instance. It’s not just a zingy smell that wakes you up; it’s scientifically proven to lift your spirits and reduce stress. A study published in the “Journal of Health Psychology,” found that people who got a whiff of lemon felt happier and more chill. It turns out that lemons might give your brain a happy chemical boost called serotonin, making you more alert and in a better mood.


Then there’s lavender. You might think of it as the go-to for a good night’s sleep, but it’s got skills beyond that. A study from the University of Miyazaki in Japan found that workers using lavender oil made fewer mistakes typing. The relaxing vibes from lavender help keep stress and anxiety—which often lead to oops moments—at bay while trying to get tasks done.

Incorporating Scents into the Workspace


Getting these scents into the workspace isn’t about turning your office into a perfume counter. It’s subtler than that. Think diffusers gently puffing out lemony freshness or a small dab of lavender oil at your desk. It’s about creating an environment where these scents subtly mingle in the background, not overpowering, but just enough to work their magic. And yes, it’s important to consider everyone’s preferences and allergies. The goal is to make everyone feel more alert and focused, not to start a sneezing frenzy.

And there’s another way: incorporating these beneficial scents into cleaners used for everything from desks to walls and even ceilings can significantly contribute to creating an environment that not only sparkles clean but also enhances mental well-being and productivity. As these surfaces get wiped down, the released scents of lemon, lavender, and peppermint disperse through the air, transforming the workspace into a refreshing, stress-reducing, and focus-enhancing zone, thus harnessing the sense of smell as a powerful tool for improving overall workplace efficiency and satisfaction.


The Sweet Smell of Success

Whether the sharp zest of lemon wakes up your senses, the soothing touch of lavender keeps mistakes at bay, or the invigorating kick of peppermint makes the long hours easier to manage, scents could very well be the stars of workplace efficiency.


In essence, harnessing the power of scents in the workplace is about creating an environment that feels clean and fresh and actively contributes to better focus and performance. It’s a simple yet effective way to help everyone bring their A-game, proving that sometimes, success can have a sweet (or zesty!) scent.

Originally Published on

Michael Levitt Chief Burnout Officer

Michael D. Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of The Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout consulting firm. He is a Keynote speaker on The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and Burnout. He is the host of the Breakfast Leadership show, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, and author of his latest book BURNOUT PROOF.